You have been recruited to change a life. A young man is out of shape and headed toward a life of obesity and health complications. But he desperately wants to change. Perhaps you saw him on television during the 2012 Summer Olympics. He appeared on a Nike® commercial shot in a rural area near London, Ohio.
Do you think of yourself as being in the happiness business? Whether you know it or not, you are. Happiness and all its related positive emotions—optimism, purpose, life satisfaction and a sense of well-being, to name a few—are powerfully linked with health (as we reviewed in the June issue of IDEA Fitness Journal). One of the most valuable keys to sustainable happiness may be exercise—bingo!
"I am not lazy."
"I don’t necessarily want or need to lose as much weight as you think I do. My biomarkers are good."
"I don’t have access to the same moisture-wicking clothes thin people do, and that can make working out more difficult for me, owing to chafing and lack of comfort."
"Don’t presume I don’t know how to eat correctly."
"My body is hard to carry around."
"Please give me time to do what you ask."
According to researchers from Kansas State University, people who use long-term thinking have a greater capacity for implementing healthier behaviors than those who consider only short-term consequences. As described in the January issue of the journal Personality and Individual Differences (2010; 48 , 202–207), the study sought to discover how people’s perceptions of time correlate with health behaviors, and which measures of time best predict those behaviors.
Have you ever found yourself in a state of complete absorption in a complex and challenging activity that stretches your skills? This wonderful state is called flow, and is described in the best-selling book Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD (Basic Books 1997). Csikszentmihalyi believes that being in flow generates the peak experiences in our lives. The more flow we experience, he suggests, the happier we are.
The relationship that develops between client and personal trainer is vastly enriched when the trainer assumes the role of mentor and life coach. Understanding the important role that life coaching plays in the client success model, we felt it was imperative to add life coaching to our list of services. As we help our trainers develop and hone their personal coaching skills, I have assumed the role of life and training strategies success coach within our facility.
Tough clients. Every fitness professional has them. You know, the ones who make you think, “What is wrong with you? Why can’t you follow simple instructions or do what’s good for you?” Don’t take it personally. When prescribed life-saving medications for cancer, heart disease and diabetes, patients take them a shockingly low 55% of the time, according to a World Health Organization estimate. If almost half of people can’t spare 10 seconds to pop a pill, how can we expect them to exercise and to eat a healthy diet?newsletter_teaser: Tough clients. Every fitness pro has them. You know, the ones who make you think, “What is wrong with you? Why can’t you follow simple instructions or do what’s good for you?” Don’t take it personally.
Fitness trend surveys predict growth in coaching services for 2012. What types of wellness or lifestyle coaching are you offering, if any? If yes, what types of coaching are most popular, and are they integrated with personal training services or offered separately? What response have you had? Share your responses with editor Sandy Todd Webster, firstname.lastname@example.org.